I spy with my little eye... Swedish summer celebrations.

My last post was focused on flowers but Midsummer is mostly about friends and family. As I said earlier, I felt like it was a Christmas in summer: the anticipation, the cooking, the gathering, singing, dancing... and then doing it all over again reminded me of winter holidays. After we got the flower crowns down, we started cooking: Toast Skagen (understand shrimps toasts), herring and potatoes, classic swedish strawberry cake, Maraengsvis, all of that washed with schnaps and wine.

I love hanging out in the kitchen. I guess my mother got us used to it since she was always in there and always told us she enjoyed the company, hence we ended up chatting afternoons away with her while she was cooking or sewing. It's a very cosy and family oriented room for me, and it's even better when men are cooking. From my experience, french men aren't really drowned towards the kitchen so I always salute countries that have a better partition of domestic life and Sweden is definitively one of them. Thank you A. and J. for patiently cleaning all those shrimps and furthermore for singing while doing it! 

Toast Skagen in the making...

Hanna had set a beautiful table with handmade name tags. I always say that details are not just details, so the fact that she had thought about it, picked flowers, taken time to dry them and then to make the name tags touched all of us. It was a gorgeous table, thank you!

And as you can see, Schnaps was part of the celebrations. I'm pretty sure it was the first time I had some (and if it wasn't, I had probably enjoyed too much of it...). It is definitively a strong liquor, pretty much tastes like vodka to me, which means: accessible, easy to drink and effective. The tradition is to sip it through the diner after singing a song: whoever around the table is inspired will start singing, everybody will follow the lead and have a sip at the end of the song. So this is what happened half way through lunch: me, singing the Marseillaise... pretty effective as I was saying.

Strawberry cake was the perfect way to finish a joyful lunch!

And so out we all went to dance around the Maypole and play Kubb. Midsummer is like Christmas in the way that it's a total different experience with children.

It was little R.'s first Midsummer, just like me and as you can see, she enjoyed it a lot. Lots of smiles and happy shouts, that little one is a party girl!

And because it is the tradition at Midsummer: once you have drank, eaten and danced around the pole, you do it all over again in the evening. I LOVE swedish traditions! This is how Maraengsvis happened around 10pm: vanilla ice cream, raspberries, cream, meringues and chocolate sauce... the swedish equivalent of the Eton Mess, also known as Death By Desert. 

I can confirm that the sun hadn't set at 1am, but I cannot tell you how long the actual night was since it took me a couple of hours to recover...
I want to thank again Hanna and HP for hosting such an amazing celebration and allowing me to get to know and be a part of that Swedish celebration. Merci to the Gentleman who didn't give up on me despite my thousand questions, and a big up to all the fun people I met! Looking forward to introducing ya'all to Bastille day!

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